Spend 2 Days In Innsbruck, Austria (a Budget Itinerary)

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While exploring Innsbruck, I discovered that this city offers more than just outdoor activities and adventures. Innsbruck is a destination that provides a blend of experiences.

Surprising attractions await you in Innsbruck. This city offers visitors moments that make them press the shutter of their camera repeatedly. The landmarks here whisper intriguing tales of archdukes and emperors who once called Innsbruck home. Just one look at the beautiful discoveries I’ve made in Innsbruck, as well as the picturesque spots I’ve encountered, and you’ll see how unmissable Innsbruck truly is. Well, that’s at least from the perspective of a wanderer like me!

If you’re considering a 2-day trip to Innsbruck, you’re definitely on the right path. All the must-see attractions and points of interest in Innsbruck can be comfortably explored over a 2-day visit. How about one day? Sure, a single day in Innsbruck can be great, but you’ll find yourself having to pick and choose between the amazing attractions, deciding which ones to see now and which ones to save for a future visit. It’s a tough choice, especially given that Innsbruck’s attractions are nothing short of amazing. This is why a 2-day stay is preferable.

Good to know: this 2-day Innsbruck itinerary is a part of WanderInEurope’s Ultimate 10-Day Itinerary for Austria.

Recommended Things to Do

Check out the key attractions of Innsbruck that you can explore during a 2-day journey. They will be the focus of the two-day itinerary for Innsbruck that I will show you.

This is the most iconic landmark of Innsbruck, located in the Old Town. We make sure not to miss visiting the Golden Roof because it’s a spectacular sight!

Golden Roof, Destination 1 of the 2-day trip to Innsbruck, Austria
Golden Roof

It is a landmark that offers a 360-degree view of Innsbruck and its surroundings from the historic center. Climbing the Innsbruck City Tower involves ascending more than 140 steps, but the view is indeed rewarding.

City Tower or Stadtturm, Destination 2 of the 2-day trip to Innsbruck, Austria
City Tower or Stadtturm

This a small church in Old Town Innsbruck that houses some of the most important treasures in the city. This one is a gem! Like, you’ve got to see the Cenotaph of Maximilian I and the statues of the Black Men in Hofkirche now!

Court Church or Hofkirche, Destination 3 of the 2-day trip to Innsbruck, Austria
Court Church or Hofkirche

the most beautiful church in Innsbruck, also located in the historic center. I was blown away by the beauty of the interiors of Innsbruck Cathedral, and I’m sure you’ll find them stunning, too. Hint: Its interiors were crafted by the famous Asam Brothers from Munich.

Innsbruck Cathedral or Dom Zu St. Jakob, Destination 4 of the 2-day trip to Innsbruck, Austria
Innsbruck Cathedral or Dom Zu St. Jakob

This is the mountain range north of Innsbruck; here, you can find the city’s highest viewing point (Hafelekar). Don’t have time for hiking? Don’t worry. Traveling to Nordkette and Hafelekar from Innsbruck is quick and quite straightforward.

Nordkette, Destination 5 of the 2-day trip to Innsbruck, Austria
Nordkette

It is a museum located in Bergisel (a hill south of the city), which provides an immersive experience and insights into the history of Tirol. There’s plenty to discover at the Tirol Panorama Museum. The Giant Innsbruck Panorama Painting is, without a doubt, the most impressive.

Tirol Panorama Museum, Destination 6 of the 2-day trip to Innsbruck, Austria
Tirol Panorama Museum

It is Innsbruck’s own castle located south of the city, considered one of the oldest museums in the world. I recommend visiting Ambras Castle to discover an unusual love story, an incredible collection of knight armors, and more.

Ambras Castle, Destination 7 of the 2-day trip to Innsbruck, Austria
Ambras Castle

The streets of Old Town Innsbruck are an attraction in their own right. Little gems dot the streets, so exploring them is a must! To make the most of it, following a free self-guided tour of Old Town Innsbruck is recommended.

The unique eye-pleasing city view (beautiful architecture + majestic mountains) from Maria-Theresien-Straße, Innsbruck, Austria
The unique eye-pleasing city view (beautiful architecture + majestic mountains) from Maria-Theresien-Straße

Innsbruck City Card

One of the great things about visiting Innsbruck is that you can maximize your time and fully immerse yourself in the unique discoveries and experiences it offers without breaking the bank. This is not only because the admission fees to Innsbruck’s places of interest are relatively budget-friendly, but also due to the availability of the Innsbruck City Card.

The Innsbruck City Card is the ultimate money-saving hack in Innsbruck, and I highly recommend it for this 2-day Innsbruck itinerary. So, what exactly is the Innsbruck City Card? In simple terms, it’s a special pass that grants travelers free entry to 22 museums and attractions, as well as one round trip on selected lifts and cable cars in the region. And that’s not all! It also allows you to use public transportation and the Sightseer hop-on hop-off bus for free.

The thing is, with the Innsbruck City Card, the more tourist attractions you visit in Innsbruck, the more money you save, and the more you make the most of your trip! According to the official website of Innsbruck Tourism, you can save up to 70 EUR if you visit the 7 must-see places included in this itinerary. Check out the screenshot below.

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Savings using Innsbruck City Card
Savings using Innsbruck City Card
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Get your Innsbruck City Card now.

Be sure to get an Innsbruck City Card valid for 48 hours. The official website of Innsbruck Tourism, timetable and route of Sightseer bus is also linked at the resources section of this post.

Summary

Using this 2-day Innsbruck Itinerary, your visit to Innsbruck’s notable attractions promises a well-rounded travel experience. This includes simple yet breathtaking adventures in nature, memorable moments in the city’s most charming scenes, and an insightful journey into Innsbruck’s rich history and culture.

There are various ways to spend your two days in Innsbruck, but a practical approach is to visit destinations based on their proximity to each other. For instance, you could dedicate one day to exploring the landmarks and attractions within Old Town and Nordkette, which is accessible from the Old Town. On another day, go south to the outskirts of Innsbruck to visit the castles, museums, and enjoy the outdoor offerings. It is the format of this itinerary.

Here’s the outline of the day 1:

  • Morning: Nordkette
  • Afternoon: Old Town Innsbruck (Historic Center — Herzog-Friedrich-Straße)
    • Golden Roof
    • Stadtturm
    • Hofkirche
    • Innsbruck Cathedral
  • Night: Cultural Event

Below is the outline for day 2:

  • Morning: Old Town Innsbruck (Maria-Theresien-Straße)
  • Late Morning: Ambras Castle
  • Afternoon: Tirol Panorama Museum
READ: When to visit Innsbruck

Innsbruck is a destination you can visit any time of the year, with most of its tourist attractions open year-round.

As far as I know, almost all the tourist spots mentioned in this 2-day Innsbruck itinerary are open throughout the year. The only exception is Ambras Castle, which closes in November. Additionally, Nordkette might not be easily accessible during the preventive maintenance of the mountain public transportation, which typically happens for a few weeks at the end of the winter and summer seasons.

But if you’re visiting Innsbruck in November or during the maintenance period of the Nordkette transportation, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered with alternative options to replace Ambras Castle and Nordkette. I’ll discuss these alternatives in detail later, after we go through the first and second day of this Innsbruck itinerary.

So, no matter what season you plan to visit, you can use this itinerary for your 2-day trip to Innsbruck.

READ: Where to Stay in Innsbruck

Since you’ll be spending most of your time in the Old Town and visiting nearby attractions, I strongly suggest booking a hotel or other accommodation in or near the Old Town. Another good option is to look at hotels near the train station, which is conveniently located right next to Old Town Innsbruck. By choosing these hotels, you’ll have the advantage of being within walking distance of the city’s amenities and attractions.

You can book the most convenient hotels or find the best deals on accommodations in Innsbruck by following this link. It will take you to a reliable hotel search engine with a handy map feature, making it easy for you to find the perfect hotel based on your preferred location.

1st Day

Kick off your two-day Innsbruck adventure by immersing yourself in the city’s defining features: its rich historical legacy and breathtaking alpine landscapes. Your journey begins in Innsbruck’s Old Town and Nordkette, two locations that not only highlight the city’s uniqueness but also offer some of its most scenic views.

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Based on my exploration and research, these spots are among the city’s most picturesque, particularly on sunny days. Don’t forget to prep your camera for the countless photos and videos you’ll be capturing. The charming streets of Old Town Innsbruck, including Herzog-Friedrich-Straße and Maria-Theresien-Straße, are lined with vibrant buildings and provide stunning scenery that will inspire you to capture every moment. The same applies to the scenic vistas you’ll discover along Nordkette’s hiking trails, viewpoints, and cable car rides from Hungerburg to Seeburg and Hafelekar.

And remember, comfortable shoes are a must! While there are options for challenging hikes, there are also several shorter trails in the mountains that are worth exploring, and proper footwear is essential for these outings. Lastly, keep in mind that the temperature in the mountains is typically cooler than in the city. So, when you visit Nordkette, it’s a good idea to bring an extra layer for warmth to ensure your comfort.

Nordkette (Morning of Day 1)

I believe Nordkette is a destination that can genuinely offer a memorable and breathtaking introduction to Innsbruck.

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  • It’s advisable to catch the first ascent to the mountain destinations around 7 to 8 am to avoid the midday tourist rush and experience the tranquility of nature.
  • If Nordkette’s live cam shows a clear view from Hafelekar (the Top of Innsbruck) without fog or clouds, head straight to this peak from Old Town Innsbruck.
  • Explore the winding hiking trails that extend from the viewpoints and cable car station after taking in the stunning scenery from the top.
  • Enjoy a scenic breakfast dining experience at either Restaurant Hafelekar or Restaurant Seegrube, which offer classic Tyrolean cuisine.
  • Visit the Alpine Zoo located at the base of the mountain before you head back to the city. It’s the highest-elevated zoo in Europe and is home to hundreds of alpine animals.
  • The modern Hungerburgbahn Congress Station, which serves as the entry point to these mountain adventures in Nordkette, is located within a 15-minute walk from nearly all areas of the Old Town.
  • The use of public transport to get to the tourist attractions in Nordkette is covered by the Innsbruck City Card.

Nordkette, with its breathtaking views that stretch across Innsbruck and the majestic Karwendel mountains, immediately evokes a sense of fulfillment for anyone visiting the city. Given its breathtaking beauty, I highly recommend making Nordkette your first destination during your 2-day stay in Innsbruck.

Nordkette is a popular tourist area in Innsbruck. It’s possible that you’ll share the mountains with plenty of other tourists during midday. Therefore, it’s advisable to catch the first ascent to the mountain destinations as early as possible, usually around 7 to 8 am, to experience the tranquility of nature.

If Nordkette’s live cam shows a clear view from Hafelekar (the Top of Innsbruck) without fog or clouds, heading straight to this peak from Old Town Innsbruck is one of the best decisions you can make during your Innsbruck trip. The morning view of the mountains, along with the breathtaking overlook of the valley, is incredibly rewarding! You can even enjoy this view from the cable car on your way to the summit.

Once you’ve taken in the stunning scenery from the top, you can explore the winding hiking trails that extend from the viewpoints and cable car station. Along the way, you might come across quaint mountain huts that seem right out of an adventure movie or a fantasy novel.

In addition to hiking, you can enjoy a scenic breakfast dining experience at either Restaurant Hafelekar or Restaurant Seegrube. These restaurants offer classic Tyrolean cuisine, adding to the unique experience of visiting Nordkette.

Before you head back to the city, there’s an Alpine Zoo located at the base of the mountain you might also want to visit. It has its own station along the Hungerburg railway, just before reaching the Congress station, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it. Innsbruck’s Alpine Zoo is the highest-elevated zoo in Europe and is home to hundreds of alpine animals, making it a great attraction for kids and traveling families. Personally, I find the aquariums in the zoo to be the most notable part, as they house nearly all the fish species found in the Alps.

Getting to Nordkette is straightforward once you’re in the Old Town of Innsbruck. The modern Hungerburgbahn Congress Station, which serves as the entry point to these mountain adventures in Nordkette, is located within a 15-minute walk from nearly all areas of the Old Town. Remember, the use of public transport to get to the tourist attractions in Nordkette is covered by the Innsbruck City Card.

Marktplatz (Lunch of Day 1)

While Nordkette offers an extraordinary lunch experience, I generally suggest having lunch in Old Town Innsbruck. Not only are the meal prices more budget-friendly there, but you also have a wide array of options to choose from. Also, Old Town Innsbruck boasts restaurants that can cater to both your visual and culinary desires, much like Nordkette.

So, after a morning of mountain exploration, I recommend descending back to Old Town Innsbruck for a lunch break and, naturally, to carry on with your Innsbruck adventure. My personal favorites are the restaurants situated in Marktplatz. These spots provide alfresco seating, enabling you to relish a charming view of Innsbruck’s Colorful Houses while indulging in your meal.

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What to expect in Marktplatz + How to go to Marktplatz from Hungerburgbahn Congress Station

Also, the Colorful Houses of Innsbruck are a standout among the city’s iconic views. Thus, eating lunch at Marktplatz allows you to hit two birds with one stone. You get to savor a delightful meal while also soaking in this frequently photographed panorama. The beauty and character of Innsbruck, with its alpine atmosphere and stunning architectural wonders, are wonderfully displayed in this scene.

Essentially, the view of the Colorful Houses of Innsbruck serves as a prelude to the many beautiful sights that await you in Old Town Innsbruck. Therefore, even if you have dining plans elsewhere, I strongly suggest making Marktplatz your initial stop in Old Town Innsbruck after descending from Nordkette.

To reach Marktplatz from Hungerburgbahn Congress Station, simply turn onto Herzog-Otto-Straße, the road that runs parallel to the Inn River, and start walking upstream as soon as you exit the station. It’s a picturesque 7-minute walk that you’re sure to enjoy, offering pleasant views of the Inn River, Nordkette, and the beautiful buildings of the Old Town on the river’s western bank.

Old Town Innsbruck (Afternoon of Day 1)

Even though you can walk from the southernmost to the northernmost parts of Old Town Innsbruck in about 15 minutes, I suggest setting aside roughly 2 hours to truly soak in the district at a relaxed pace. This duration provides ample opportunity to partake in a variety of delightful activities, such as:

  1. people-watching,
  2. admiring centuries-old landmarks,
  3. wandering through narrow streets,
  4. discovering hidden gems within the historic center,
  5. Taking photographs,
  6. browsing local products at flea markets,
  7. taking a brief moment to sit outside a café. 
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  • Make the Golden Roof your first must-see destination after admiring Goldener Adler and Hölblinghaus.
  • After exploring Marktplatz, enter the historic center of Innsbruck through the western end of Herzog-Friedrich-Straße, near Innbrücke. This allows you to immediately encounter two of the most stunning buildings in Innsbruck: Goldener Adler and Hölblinghaus.
  • Don’t miss these four notable attractions in Old Town: the Golden RoofInnsbruck City TowerHofkirche, and the Cathedral of Saint James. These landmarks offer insights into Tyrolean history and hold immense significance as the city’s most precious heritage.
  • Try the Food Walking Tour for a different way to explore Innsbruck. This fun guided tour allows you to learn about the rich history, splendid architecture, vibrant culture, and the fascinating lives of Innsbruck’s residents, all while treating your taste buds to a delightful array of culinary delicacies.
  • Consider the Private Tour With a Local Guide. Discover Innsbruck alongside an experienced local guide who will provide insider knowledge on navigating the city, shopping, dining, and more. Customize your tour duration (2, 3, or 4 hours) and receive valuable tips and tricks to enhance your visit.

Once you’ve explored Marktplatz and marveled at the picturesque view of Old Town Innsbruck, it’s time to see the highlights of the city within the historic center.

Starting from Marktplatz, I recommend entering the historic center of Innsbruck through the western end of Herzog-Friedrich-Straße, near Innbrücke. This particular section of the historic center allows you to immediately encounter two of the most stunning buildings in Innsbruck: Goldener Adler and Hölblinghaus. After admiring these picture-perfect structures, you will find yourself standing in front of the Golden Roof—your first must-see destination.

Among the notable attractions in the Old Town, there are four that I highly recommend you do not miss: the Golden Roof, Innsbruck City Tower, Hofkirche, and the Cathedral of Saint James (Innsbruck Cathedral). These landmarks offer insights into Tyrolean history and hold immense significance as the city’s most precious heritage. Exploring these sites will deepen your appreciation for the cultural and historical richness of Innsbruck.

If you’re looking for a different way to explore Innsbruck, consider the Food Walking Tour. This fun guided tour combines discussions about the city’s rich history, charming architecture, vibrant culture, and the fascinating lives of Innsbruck’s residents, all while treating your taste buds to a delightful array of culinary delicacies.

Another option is the Private Tour With a Local Guide. Here, you’ll discover Innsbruck alongside an experienced local guide who will provide insider knowledge on navigating the city, shopping, dining, and more. You can customize your tour duration (2, 3, or 4 hours) and receive valuable tips and tricks to enhance your visit.

Summary: Golden Roof
The Golden Roof seen from Herzog-Friedrich-Straße, day 1 of 2-day trip to Innsbruck, Austria
The Golden Roof seen from Herzog-Friedrich-Straße

The Golden Roof is a famous landmark in Innsbruck and is seen as the city’s symbol. I believe it’s a must-see spot in Innsbruck because it shows the city’s rich history and artistic beauty. The most eye-catching feature is its 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles that shine brightly in the sunlight. You’ll notice them as soon as you step onto Herzog-Friedrich-Straße.

The Golden Roof was built in the 1500s, during Emperor Maximilian I’s rule. He played a key role in making the landmark as grand as it is today. The facade of the building is heavily decorated with frescoes and reliefs that show different events from Emperor Maximilian’s life. This is evidence of the emperor’s contributions to the Golden Roof.

Inside, there’s a museum where you can learn more about Maximilian I and the Golden Roof. I highly recommend visiting it if you’re interested in learning more about this great emperor and the iconic landmark.

Things you can expect to see in visiting the Golden Roof, day 1 of 2-day trip to Innsbruck, Austria
Things you can expect to see in visiting the Golden Roof
Summary: City Tower (Stadtturm)
Innsbruck City Tower seen from Herzog-Friedrich-Straße, day 1 of 2-day trip to Innsbruck, Austria
Innsbruck City Tower seen from Herzog-Friedrich-Straße

Picture yourself standing in front of the Golden Roof. Now, turn around and look up. You’ll see the City Tower, also known as Stadtturm. This is the second place I suggest you visit in the historic center. There are three main reasons for this. First, it gives you a new view of the Golden Roof. Second, it offers a wide view of the Old Town and Nordkette. Lastly, it lets you experience what it was like for the medieval guards who used to watch over the city from this tower.

However, to get to the viewing deck of Stadtturm, which is 31 meters high, you’ll need to climb 148 steps. It might sound like a lot, but the unique view you’ll get at the top is worth it. Once you’re at the top of Stadtturm and looking around, you’ll be able to see the next two places to visit in Old Town Innsbruck: Hofkirche and the Cathedral of Saint James.

Inside the City Tower and the view from its viewing platform, day 1 of 2-day trip to Innsbruck, Austria
Inside the City Tower and the view from its viewing platform
Summary: Hofkirche (Court Church)
Inside Hofkirche, the cenotaph of Emperor Maximilian I and the statues of the Black Men to see on day 1 of 2-day trip to Innsbruck, Austria
Inside Hofkirche, the cenotaph of Emperor Maximilian I and the statues of the Black Men

Innsbruck is home to many interesting places, one of which is the Hofkirche, or Court Church. This church is a treasure box of cultural artifacts, including the cenotaph of Emperor Maximilian I and the statues known as the Black Men. The Hofkirche was built in the mid-16th century by Emperor Ferdinand I as a tribute to his grandfather, Emperor Maximilian I. That’s why you’ll find Maximilian’s cenotaph inside the church.

The treasures in Hofkirche left a deep impression on me during my visit to Innsbruck. The artists who created these works paid great attention to detail, resulting in masterpieces that are sure to impress anyone. The cenotaph is located in the middle of the church’s nave, surrounded by 28 statues, the Black Men. These statues represent the emperor’s family and other important European figures.

Visiting the Hofkirche offers a chance to learn more about this incredible place. If you’re coming from Stadtturm, it’s a quick 5-minute walk. Just head north from Herzog-Friedrich-Straße, turn onto Hofgasse, which is east of the Golden Roof. Keep going straight until you reach Universitätstraße. Here, you’ll find the entrance to the Tyrolean Folk Art Museum, which leads to the Hofkirche.

Stunning details of the cenotaph and the Black Men statues to see during day 1 of 2-day trip to Innsbruck, Austria
Stunning details of the cenotaph and the Black Men statues
Summary: Cathedral of Saint James (Innsbruck Cathedral)
Night and day view of Cathedral of Saint James, day 1 of 2-day trip to Innsbruck, Austria
Night and day view of Cathedral of Saint James

Innsbruck Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Saint James, is an 18th-century Baroque church in Innsbruck. As you stroll through the Old Town, take a moment to step inside and admire its stunning interiors.

For those of faith, you’ll be pleased to know that the cathedral houses Maria Hilf, a revered portrait painting of the Virgin Mary. This beautiful artwork from the 1500s depicts Mary as both a nurturing mother and a dignified queen of Heaven. Another treasure inside the cathedral is the tomb of Archduke Maximilian III. Art lovers will appreciate its Austrian Mannerist sculpture.

But what might leave the most lasting impression is the cathedral’s ceiling. It’s adorned with breathtaking frescoes and stucco work, masterfully crafted by the Asam Brothers from Bavaria, experts in Rococo style design. I was particularly captivated by the frescoes depicting scenes from Saint James’s life and the optical illusion techniques used to create visual domes along the nave.

To get to Innsbruck Cathedral from Hofkirche, head north along Rennweg after exploring the Hofkirche/Tyrol Folk Art Museum. Continue until you reach Herrengaße, the first street on your left. Follow Herrengaße until you see a small pathway on your left. This pathway leads to Domplatz, where Innsbruck Cathedral is located.

The ceiling of Innsbruck Cathedral you must see on the day 1 of a 2-day trip to Innsbruck, Austria
The ceiling of Innsbruck Cathedral

Tyrolean Evenings Family Gundolf in Innsbruck (Night of Day 1)

After a day of exploring Nordkette and Old Town of Innsbruck, why not end it with a cultural treat? Join the Gundolf Family for their Tyrolean Evenings.

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Tyrolean Evenings with Gundolf Family, © Innsbruck Tourismus, Irene Ascher
Tyrolean Evenings with Gundolf Family, © Innsbruck Tourismus, Irene Ascher
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This family is known for their dedication to preserving and showcasing Tyrolean music and culture. When you attend their event, you’ll get to hear authentic Tyrolean folk music and traditional yodeling. You’ll also see Tyrolean dances, including the unique “shoe-slapping” technique. The event lasts for 1.5 hours and promises a memorable experience filled with amazing music and a joyful atmosphere.

As a bonus, you’ll receive a complimentary drink when you attend the show. If you’re interested, you can also opt for bundle tickets that include a delicious 3-course meal. The menu, as of my last update, includes clear soup with sliced pancakes, roast pork with potatoes and mixed salad, and apple strudel with whipped cream. Enjoying this meal while being entertained will surely enhance your experience.

If you’re interested, you can find ticket prices for the Tyrolean Evenings hosted by the Gundolf Family here. It’s worth noting that discounted tickets are available if you have an Innsbruck City Card. You can also check out a sample performance from the Tyrolean Evening on YouTube.

2nd Day

On the second day of your Innsbruck trip, we’ll head to the hilly southern part of the city. Here, you’ll dive into Tyrol’s culture and history while enjoying panoramic views. You’ll discover more about Innsbruck’s history, learn about famous Tyrolean figures, and visit places that take you back in time.

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The day’s itinerary includes two main attractions: Ambras Castle in the morning and the Tirol Panorama Museum in the afternoon. Even though there are only two stops, you can easily spend a full day in Bergisel (if you want), where the Tirol Panorama is located. There are hiking trails leading to different viewpoints and attractions like the Bergisel Ski Jump. So, remember to wear comfortable shoes.

Even though the Bergisel Ski Jump isn’t on my must-visit list, you might want to check it out to make the most of your Innsbruck City Card. If you have this card, you also get an unlimited access to the Sightseer Bus, which stops at both Ambras Castle and the Tirol Panorama Museum. It makes exploring Innsbruck convenient and easy. You can find the timetable and schedule of the Innsbruck Sightseer buses in the resources section of this post. Make sure to take advantage of the Innsbruck City Card and use the Sightseer buses for a smoother exploration.

Ambras Castle (Morning of Day 2)

First stop: Ambras Castle. I suggest you start your day at Ambras Castle, as there’s an opportunity to watch the sunset at the Tirol Panorama Museum and other areas in Bergisel. Plus, having lunch at the museum’s restaurant is a delightful experience, thanks to the stunning views you can enjoy while dining.

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Ambras Castle Summary + getting there (Use: Sightseer bus)

European cities are known for their historical significance, architectural splendor, and overall magical appeal, with castles greatly contributing to their beauty. Innsbruck, for instance, takes pride in its own magnificent castle: Ambras Castle. This magnificent Renaissance castle, dating back to the 16th century, sits atop a 632-meter tall hill.

What makes Ambras Castle fascinating is that it emerged from an unconventional love story between royalty and a commoner. It is Archduke Ferdinand II’s gift to his beloved wife, Philippine Welser. Their love story has served as inspiration for numerous works of art, including theatrical plays, novels, and paintings.

Another interesting aspect of Ambras Castle is its distinction as the oldest museum in the world. Within the museum, you will discover an armory showcasing a remarkable collection of armor worn by renowned knights, warriors, and military commanders of the Holy Roman Empire during the 16th century. Impressively, these artifacts are well-preserved and remain unblemished despite the passage of centuries.

If you have an appreciation for art and architecture, you’ll be thoroughly impressed by several parts of the castle, particularly the Spanish Hall and the courtyard of the upper castle. The intricate embellishments that adorn their walls are a feast for the eyes!

However, among the two, the Spanish Hall is an absolute must-see. It stands as the most artistically significant hall of the late Renaissance. Like, every corner of the hall is adorned with paintings depicting various rulers of Tyrol, allegorical characters, and much more. Not to mention the commendable woodwork on the hall’s ceiling and doors that are so eye-catching.

Keep in mind that with the Innsbruck City Card, you can enter Ambras Castle for free. The Sightseer bus, covered by Innsbruck City Card, offers a hassle-free ride to Ambras Castle and an effortless journey from there to the Tirol Panorama Museum in Bergisel, stopping only twice at Landesportcenter and Stift Wilten.

Tirol Panorama Museum & Bergisel (Afternoon of Day 2)

When you arrive at the Tirol Panorama Museum from Ambras Castle, it will likely be lunchtime or early afternoon. If you’re looking for a place to have lunch, you can consider trying Restaurant 1809, located right next to the Tirol Panorama Museum. Following that, it’s time to immerse yourself in the rich history, vibrant culture, diverse religion, and stunning nature of Tirol at the museum!

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Tirol Panorama Museum summary + other things to do in the area

The Tirol Panorama Museum is the final stop on this two-day Innsbruck itinerary, but it’s far from the least exciting. This museum offers a unique experience that combines historical significance and serves as a beautiful conclusion to your Innsbruck trip.

So, what is this museum all about? The Tirol Panorama Museum, officially known as Tirol Panorama with the Museum of the Imperial Infantry, is a must-visit museum, famous for the Innsbruck Giant Panorama Painting displayed inside it. This panoramic masterpiece, spanning an impressive 1000 square meters, vividly depicts a pivotal moment in Tyrolean history: the Third Battle of Bergisel.

Within the panorama painting, you’ll witness the courageous Tyroleans, led by Andreas Hofer, engaging in a fierce clash with the Bavarian occupiers under Napoleon at Bergisel. Since the panorama is located in the vicinity of Bergisel—the same place where the battle took place—the experience is akin to going back in time to the moment when the battle occurred.

A while ago, I mentioned that this museum is a beautiful conclusion to this 2-day trip. Why is that? Well, it is because of the museum’s permanent exhibition called the “Tyrolean Stage.Within the exhibits, you’ll learn about numerous aspects of Tyrolean life, such as politics, religion, nature, and culture. After exploring the Tirol Panorama Museum, you’ll have gained plenty of new knowledge and made fascinating discoveries; enough to say that your Innsbruck trip has been fruitful and productive.

To make the final part of your 2-day Innsbruck trip even more memorable, I recommend visiting the scenic pavilion located beside the Museum of the Imperial Infantry.

From this vantage point, you can soak in the breathtaking beauty of the Nordkette mountain range while enjoying an overlooking view of the city, which becomes particularly lovely during sunset. With that in mind, you might want to consider staying in Bergisel until late afternoon, as it presents a wonderful opportunity to witness the romantic colors of a sunset from this area.

Depending on your pace of exploration, you can typically complete your visit to the Tirol Panorama Museum within 1 to 2 hours. If you find yourself with some spare time before sunset, I recommend taking a stroll along the panorama trail that goes around Bergisel. This trail provides scenic views and a refreshing atmosphere, allowing you to enjoy the scenery of the surrounding area.

Alternative Attractions and Activities

So, that wraps up your two-day adventure in Innsbruck! If you’re interested in exploring beyond the itinerary I’ve suggested, or if you’re planning to extend your stay for more adventures and cultural experiences, there’s still plenty more to see and do in the city. Depending on the weather, or if you’re simply in the mood to embrace the great outdoors, there are alternative attractions and activities that might pique your interest.

#1 Hofburg

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Hofburg © Innsbruck Tourismus _ Christian Vorhofer, more things to do in Innsbruck, Austria
Hofburg © Innsbruck Tourismus – Christian Vorhofer
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Known as the Imperial Palace, the Hofburg is a former Habsburg palace in the Old Town. It holds its own as one of the nation’s important cultural landmarks, standing proudly alongside the famed Hofburg Palace and Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. There’s several things to to expect when visiting Hofburg, including the rooms of Maria Theresa, contemporary exhibits about Maximilian I, and much more. There’s also a Furniture Museum, an Ancestral Gallery, and a Painting Gallery, each highlighting different facets of the palace’s political and cultural legacy.

#2 Swarovski Crystal Worlds 

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Swarovski Crystal Worlds, more things to do in Innsbruck, Austria
Swarovski Crystal Worlds
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Swarovski Kristallwelten is a half day destination from Innsbruck, considered by many as a must-see attraction in Wattens, Austria. It’s a magical underground world filled with crystal sculptures, art installations, and interactive experiences.  Explore exhibits and attractions such as the “Crystal Cloud” of some 800,000 hand-mounted crystals, the “Chambers of Wonder,” and the garden of the “Giant.” Children will love the play-tower and innovative outdoor playground landscape, while adults can relax at the café or restaurant with amazing views of the surrounding landscape. You can learn more about Swarovski Crystal Worlds here.

#3 White-Water Rafting in the Tyrolean Alps

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Rafting, more things to do in Innsbruck, Austria
Rafting
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Do you want adventures? Well, unleash your inner adventurer and immerse yourself in the stunning beauty of Tyrol with an exhilarating rafting experience in the Imster Schlucht! Join experienced guides at the outdoor center, grab top-quality rafting equipment, and brace yourself for thrilling rapids and breathtaking views as you conquer waves like the “Memminger Walze,” “Oetzschlag,” and “Chaos.”  Whether you’re a first-time rafter or with your family, options are available for all skill levels. The tour covers 14 kilometers, lasts 2.5-3.5 hours, and guarantees an unforgettable adventure. Afterward, savor delicious Tyrolean dishes and celebrate your triumphs with a well-deserved drink. Check out the White-Water Rafting in the Tyrolean Alps now.

#4 Paragliding Adventure

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Paragliding, more things to do in Innsbruck, Austria
Paragliding
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Is the adrenaline rush from white-water rafting not enough? Try the paragliding adventure. Soar to new heights with an exhilarating paragliding experience in Innsbruck! Watch skilled paragliders in action before taking off with your pilot. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Alps, feel the incredible freedom of the air, and experience 10-15 minutes of pure exhilaration. Embrace the thrill and create unforgettable memories as you fly through the sky. Start your Paragliding Adventure in Innsbruck here.

#5 Innsbruck Food Tour

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Tyrolean food, more things to do in Innsbruck, Austria
Tyrolean food
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One of the most unique ways to explore Innsbruck that I know of is the Innsbruck Food Tour. On this tour, you’ll get to taste the culinary delights of Innsbruck, the charming capital of Tyrol, guided by a local expert.

The culinary journey starts at the lively Markthalle Innsbruck, where local farmers proudly offer samples of their traditional cuisine. Next, the guide will take you to a local bakery to delve into the rich history of breadmaking and enjoy a lunch featuring specialties from various Tyrolean regions. Following lunch, you’ll take a relaxed stroll through the city, discovering the secrets of award-winning coffee and indulging in sweet treats that reflect Tyrol’s heritage. The journey wraps up with a cozy Marend, where you’ll sample iconic Tyrolean dishes.

Interested? Join this gastronomic adventure now: Let’s go Innsbruck Food Tour!

Resources

If you need more resources for planning, you can refer to the links below. I used them as references when putting together this 2-day Innsbruck itinerary:

Finally, if you’re still looking for a place to stay during your 2-day Innsbruck trip, you can find the best hotel deals in Innsbruck by following this link. It leads to my partner’s hotel search and booking platform, which I always use. Please note that this is an affiliate link, meaning I may earn a small commission if you book through it, but at no extra cost to you. It’s a fantastic way to support WanderInEurope in creating informative articles like this one that you might find useful in the future! Thank you for your support.

Blog Design Related Posts

Are you interested in exploring more stunning alpine destinations like Innsbruck? I can suggest one in Austria and a few in Switzerland. In Austria, Salzburg is a gem. It has beautiful architecture and stunning viewpoints that offer amazing sunrise and sunset views. If you plan a 2-day visit or 3-day stay, there are incredible day trips you can do.

For music lovers or fans of the movie, The Sound of Music, Salzburg is a must-visit. Don’t miss out on the Mirabell Palace, a picture-perfect attraction in Salzburg that served as a filming location for the movie. As for Switzerland, there’s so much to say! My top pick? The Jungfrau Region. Here, you’ll find the heavenly Lautebrunnen, the incredibly turquoise Lake Brienz, and other breathtaking attractions near Interlaken.

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